Creating a wastewater treatment research centre in Kuwait
To promote exchange of experience and technical know-how among Middle Eastern countries
21 July 2004, Rome -- FAO will assist Kuwait in establishing a reference centre for studies and research on wastewater treatment and reuse, the UN agency said today. Treated wastewater has potential benefits, particularly in water-scarce countries, as a non-conventional water resource for agricultural and other applications.
The research centre will be created to promote exchange of experience on the management of treated wastewater and technical know-how, particularly among Middle Eastern countries, and to foster studies and research on wastewater treatment and re-use, with a special focus on agriculture.
Kuwait is known to be the most water-scarce country in the world, where renewable water resources are estimated to be almost negligible, according to FAO.
"Kuwait is also the first country in the Near East region to have introduced the treatment of wastewater for agricultural purposes, hence the importance of this project for the whole Middle East region," said Mr Pasquale Steduto, Chief of Water Resources, Development and Management Service at FAO.
Agriculture and fisheries programme
In another Technical Cooperation project FAO will also assist in setting up a medium-term programme for agriculture and fisheries development in Kuwait.
The project is expected to concentrate on crop production, organic farming, livestock production and fisheries.
In Kuwait where desert land is mainly sandy and barren, the total cultivated area is limited to 7050 hectares out of a total arable land of about 143 000 hectares. Agriculture (including fisheries) accounts for only 0.5% of gross domestic product (GDP). Livestock production contributes some 67% to agricultural GDP, compared to 23% for plant production and 10% for fisheries.
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